Always telling myself off...

 A Cotinus by the driveway. With enhanced saturation, thanks to Photoshop!
Autumn Smoke Bush

Gardeners write to inform, to share opinions on this and that, to give good (and not so good) advice, to praise one plant and dismiss another. Hmm... I often write to jolly myself along, to tell myself off when I've been garden-naughty. Sorry about this!

Two thirds of the way through a decent gardening day it's so easy to run out of 'puff', and this will not do! Written words will capture those last bits of energy, and I can trick myself into a final gardening session. Then I end the day feeling extremely proud.

Saturday 7th May

Today has been a wheelbarrow trundling day. Inside for afternoon tea, I've reaffirmed my plans and passions, and now I'm off back outside. I'm rebuilding the sides of the Allotment Garden with large stones taken from the front of the Welcome Garden (which I'n weeding and edging with smaller stones). I'm also getting barrowfuls of horse manure and spreading it on the garden. It's all pretty physical work, even the weeding - the Welcome Garden is desperately dry, difficult to dig.

 The courgettes still trying to grow.
Stone Edges for the Allotment Garden

But it is far too early to stop working. Naughty gardener! So here's the deal. If I work really, really hard for the next hour, then I can have a nice hot bath, a clean apres-gardening shirt, and a cool drink of iced water. Hmm...

 Ornamental Anemanthele lessoniana
New Stones, New Grasses

Later, Dusk...

Yeay! A flattie chicken with pumpkin is roasting quietly, the log-burner is going, and my bath awaits. Non-Gardening Partner (lovely bloke) has commented on how 'very tidy' the Allotment Garden is looking. I agree!

Sunday 8th May

It's Mothers' Day, with an outpouring of commercial sentimentality. Take Mum to a breakfast cafe, and fill her up with food! Then take her to a shopping mall and make all her dreams come true. Fine and lovely, nice even.

All I want to go to the river to pick up a trailer of large stones. I don't have enough to finish my edging. NGP has kindly agreed that we can do this first. Then I'm going to clear up some gum leaves from the house gardens, trim some more perennials, and light up my autumn bonfire.

And as for autumn - she (he? it?) is misbehaving. The days are too warm, the nights not nippy enough. Trees (and gardeners) are confused. Colours aren't properly developing before gusts of wind blow the leaves down. Irrigation is still needed on the gardens and the paddocks.

After an initial, excited flurry (with the Maples and Dogwoods) I haven't taken many autumn photographs. The general autumn look is dusty and faded. But then there are some very colourful surprises - love the autumn roses!

Much Later...

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I've finished laying all the edging stones. Finished! Yeay! I've barrowed in more horse manure, replanted Lychnis and Anamaloenthe grasses, watered, and cleaned up all my rubbish. My bonfire was a little limp, but not a problem.

Monday 9th May

Yes! Today has been just as brilliant as yesterday. In order to encourage the bonfire, I've been raking and barrowing over gum tree mess from behind the pond. I've even had a willing garden helper. Several scruffy Viburnums stricken with that 'silver-leaf' problem have been chopped right down. Luckily the nearby Pittosporums are healthy green, unaffected. Some pieces of the gum bark have been really, really long. It amazes me how quickly there is visible improvement. Yes! Rake it up, cart it away, and hey presto! And remember - it's OK to have a designated wilderness area (AKA 'BIG MESS') if you have lots and lots of huge (and dramatically beautiful) Eucalyptus trees.

 Winnie the dog is waiting for her tennis ball to be thrown.
Wilderness Behind the pond

Big brown Escher spent ages snorting and digging underneath a pile of wood on the fence-line. Then he started barking. Oops. He had uncovered a (possibly hibernating) hedgehog. That's really unfair, and I told him so (OK, I guess he didn't understand me). I finished the bonfire with some trimmings of dead wood from the Banksia lutea rose.

 So colourful in autumn and winter.
Yellow Calendulas

Tuesday 10th May

I went outside with the dogs just to try and take photographs. The Welcome Garden was so dry that I put on the hoses. One thing led to another and I ended up cutting down dahlias and shrubby lavateras, and some weedy broom and gorse seedlings which were nestling happily by the Car Bridge. My bonfire self-ignited.


Then a kind neighbour arrived on his tractor to warn me that the fire ban had been put back on yesterday. Aargh! I am so righteous when others break the fire rules, and here I was, happily doing just this. Embarrassed. Oops, oops, oops.

Up there somewhere I made the comment about this year's oddly warm autumn : 'Trees (and gardeners) are confused.' Well, so are ducks. This morning, driving to the dog park, I gave way to a mallard duck mother with a string of the tiniest ducklings (nine of them). It's autumn! Actually, it's closer to late autumn! Eek.